What is Epilepsy and Types of Epilepsy | Sunshine Hospitals

Blog

What is Epilepsy and Types of Epilepsy

The human brain is one of the most interesting and mysterious wonders of life. So much so, that there are a few famous people whose brains are being studied even after centuries have passed by.

Who comes to your mind when you think about famous people and brains?

Yes, Dr. Albert Einstein! In fact, there are many such names in the list: Thomas Edison, Socrates, Julius Caesar, and Napoleon. But little do most know, that these great men have suffered sudden electrical rush passing through their body to their brains.

You might think that probably could be the reason of their high IQ levels, but that’s not true. It is called epilepsy attack or seizures.

While it is astounding to know that these great people suffered epileptic seizures, it is quite a thing to wonder as to what caused these seizures. Before that, you should understand what epilepsy is, and what are the different types of epilepsy.

How does the brain work? 

How Brain Works

The brain governs the central nervous system and executes all the actions you perform on a routine basis. Right from the morning till we shut down and relax, everything is controlled by the brain. But there are times when there’s something that strikes the brain too.

An epileptic attack.

Imagine having a Nervous Breakdown you aren’t aware of. Something that derails the nervous system without any symptoms.

Epilepsy is that sudden rush of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. It is a neurological problem affecting 1 in 20 people, of which many might never experience it the second time. But those who face it recurrently must know more about it.

What triggers epilepsy?

Anything that injures the brain can lead to seizures. These can be classified into two groups:

  1. Brain injuries
  2. Chemical imbalances in the brain

However, in more than half of the cases, causes are difficult to identify.  Listed below are few reasons that trigger an epileptic seizure.

  • High fever
  • Head trauma
  • Very low blood sugar
  • Alcohol withdrawal

Symptoms of epilepsy attacks at a glance

Epilepsy attacks can last from a few seconds, to a few minutes. Some people also experience strange feelings and sensations before an epileptic attack, such as odd tastes, smells, deja vu etc.

Types of epilepsy attacks and their effects:

There are a many types of epilepsy attacks, and if you have been having seizures, here’s what you can take a look at, to understand the various types of epilepsy attacks to know which one you relate to. This might help you address your concerns correctly to your doctor.

Focal seizures: Focal seizures are types of epilepsy attacks that occur in a particular part of your brain. These seizures can cause both physical and emotional effects and can make you see, hear, or hallucinate.

Types of Epilepsy

Types of focal seizures:

  • Simple seizures – You might feel dizzy, nauseated, and sweaty with strange sensations, hot flashes and twitching of fingers coming along.
  • Complex seizures – Complex seizures are types of epilepsy attacks which occur the part of your brain that controls your emotions. It might looks like you’re awake but you actually are unaware of your physical surroundings and happenings.
  • Secondary generalised seizures – These types of epilepsy seizures begin in one part of the brain and spread to the nerve cells located on both the sides. They replicate symptoms of generalized seizures.
  • Generalized seizures: Generalized seizures have six types of epilepsy seizures when the nerve cells in both sides of your brain misfire. They cause severe muscle spasms, cramps, black out or fall.

Types of epilepsy attacks under generalised seizures:

  • Atonic seizures – Atonic seizures simply cause a sudden loss of balance in the body. You might suddenly fall, or drop things.
  • Myoclonic seizures – Usually occur in the same part of the brain where atonic seizures occur. Some people also have both atonic and myoclonic seizures together.
  • Absence (or petit mal) seizures – Among all the types of epilepsy seizures, this one is seen more in children under 14 years. Looking lost and disconnected, and not remembering it happened is what happens in this kind of seizure.
  • Tonic-clonic (or grand mal) seizures – Lasting from 1-3 minutes, your body stiffens and gives sudden jerks, and you become unconscious.
  • Clonic seizures – These types of epilepsy seizures occur with rhythmic jerks and shakes.
  • Tonic seizures – These types of epilepsy attacks occur mostly while you’re asleep with the muscles in your legs and arms becoming tense. So if you stand during the attack, you might fall.

There are a few glitches that you might face, but there’s a lot more to it when you understand your condition better. What you must believe is quite simple – you have nothing to worry about.

About Sunshine Hospitals

A Multi-Super Speciality Institution, 500+ bedded Sunshine Hospitals (Paradise Circle, Secunderabad) is promoted by globally reputed Joint Replacement Surgeon Dr. AV Gurava Reddy (Orthopedic Doctor) and like-minded associates who share the objective of making world-standard healthcare available, affordable and accessible to the common man.